Due to a series of economic downturns, gender-based social norms and the cracked-yet-not-broken glass ceiling, women of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) are sometimes referred to as the “sandwich generation.”
Gen X women are more likely to be working full time and to be a caregiver for children or aging parents—or both. According to the AARP’s Public Policy Institute, by the year 2030, the ratio of people needing care to possible caregivers will be 4-to-1 and by 2050, it will be 3-to-1. This caregiving crisis could have a great effect on both the millennial and Gen Z generation as well. As career and caregiving duties collide for many—especially during the ongoing pandemic—workplaces will need to adapt to better accommodate caregivers.
In this episode of Break the Bias, Consciously Unbiased Director of Content Holly Corbett (virtually) sits down with Jackie Ghedine and Mimi Bishop, co-founders of The Resting Mind, a company that coaches high-achieving, 40+ women who want greater success and more money in their career or their business. They dive into how women and professionals of all intersections can better navigate through the corporate world and be their most authentic selves, all while getting paid what they are worth. The conversation also covers:
- How to change subconscious beliefs and habits to optimize your outcome.
- Why working hard does not automatically mean success—and what does.
- How to recognize what feels right for you intuitively, and what an energy misalignment looks like.
- How Gen X women can combat ageism, and much more.
Read below for some key takeaways.
RESILIENCE AS A SUPERPOWER
“One of our strengths and also at the same point is our weakness is our ability to be so resilient, because we really came into the workforce and there was a recession. Then there was the “ dot com bubble”, then 9/11 and now COVID. Gen X women were kind of the generation of bad timing, if you will, right? It’s caused us to be incredibly resilient and resourceful. At the same time, sometimes we use that to our detriment, because we then are not asking for what we need. We’re not raising our hand. We’re blending in by just taking care of business in the background.”
KNOW YOUR VALUE
“When we do [most of the bruntwork], we become the workhorse. So now, when we want the promotion, the first thing that our employers are thinking is: ‘How am I going to backfill that position? Well, who’s going to do all that work?’ So their fear of losing you in that spot actually hurts you because you’ve done so much that they’re already thinking of how they’re gonna backfill you, not how that skill can be translated. The other part of that is we grew up with Baby Boomers parents who told us to stay for as long as we can. So many Gen X women have stayed in their corporate jobs for a really long time. Then when they’re 10 years or 20 years in, they get laid off. They’re already behind the financial eight ball, right? Because if you think about the average increase is about 2% a year. If you stay with a job where, if you move from company to company, the average jump is 10 to 20% in salary. So you’re financially behind. You’ve been with the same company and you haven’t grown. You haven’t learned new technologies. You haven’t been exposed to as much. Now you’re out in the real world at 40 and unfortunately corporate America is minimizing what that means and that experience. All of those things have hurt us and now we have this opportunity to shift that dialogue. And really, it is incumbent upon us to demand our worth with the revenue and the money we should be getting.”
THE FALLACY OF SECURITY
“Generation X women are often all about security. That really bites us in the end, because we may stay at a job because we value security. At the end of the day there’s no security. We get pushed out, this happens. People and corporations will swear up and down, ‘No, it’s not because of your age.’ But we see it happen over and over where this age span is the first ones to get pushed out.”
SELF AWARENESS: PURPOSE & INTENTION
“The way to become self-aware is to become aware. So if we talk about that 95% of our day is spent on autopilot. Think about how little time you’re actually just aware in general. We actually have our clients put a stop clock on for every hour to stop and become present, and think about ‘Why did I just do what I just did? What am I going to do next? How am I going to be purposeful and intentional?’ It starts to get you to pause and become present in the moment, instead of just doing what you naturally do. Perspective absolutely has to be about you asking yourself questions on why you’re making the choices that you’re making and what’s driving these decisions.”
Related: Understanding DEIB in the Workplace
THE ROLE OF EMPATHY IN HELPING OTHERS LIVE THEIR TRUTH
“I always say that your success doesn’t mean you have to give up X. When you ask Gen X women, ‘If I’m successful, then I can’t have/do what? I can’t be a mom? I can’t be at home? I can’t have a sense of self?’ Many of us have a belief system that success means that we have to give something up. I’m saying you get to create what success looks like for yourself, and you hold your boundaries.”
The Today Show With Hoda & Jenna: Refresh For Fall
The Atlantic: “Gen-X Women Are Caught in a Generational Tug-of-War”
Break the Bias Podcast: Stacy London on Ageism, Menopause & Self Love
Break the Bias Podcast: The Author of “Fair Play” On Why Women Are Being Forced Out Of The Workforce
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